First Look Review: The 2024 Toyota Prius is a distinct flavor among compact cars

  • 2024 Toyota Prius gets no changes from the previous model
  • Delivers a fuel economy of up to 57 mpg
  • Priced from USD 27,950 (excl. USD 1,095 DPH fee)
  • Now available at U.S. dealerships

The 2024 Toyota Prius offers a breath of fresh air in the compact car segment with its blend of style, efficiency, technology, and affordability. The fifth generation of the long-running hybrid car stands out in so many ways that it is almost as if Toyota undertook this project with a mission to silence all Prius skeptics definitively! Recently, I had a chance to experience the 2024 Prius Hybrid in person, and this is what I found:

Design

Historically, the Prius has always stood out from the other models, often being labeled as weird and polarizing due to its unique look. Its fifth-gen model, however, seems to redefine that distinctiveness and attention positively, bringing a surprising wow factor that was unexpected by many, including me.

Seeing the 2024 Toyota Prius in person, I felt as if I was next to a swanky four-door coupe designed primarily for style and great road presence, not centered around fuel efficiency like its predecessors. The heavily raked A-pillar is at almost the same angle as the hood, like in a sports car. I quite like how it leads to a roofline that’s two inches lower than that of the fourth-gen model.

The pronounced shoulder area and the C-pillar rear door handles add to the dynamic styling of the 2024 Prius. At the back, the concave tail section, the widely-spaced model inscription, and the end-to-end tail light remind me of the much bigger and pricier Toyota Crown. I feel that these elements highlight the fifth-gen model’s wider body. My favorite angle is the side profile, which looks streamlined and sophisticated, like that of an expensive four-door coupe.

Interior

As allured as I was by the athletic exterior of the 2024 Toyota Prius, I was wary about the interior space and practicality, given my six-foot height. Entering the cabin required careful maneuvering to avoid bumping my head against the low roof.

I found the headroom quite limited in the most optimum position, with my head almost brushing against the roof lining. Under-thigh support and leg space were fine. The knee room was alright, and my right knee was at a comfortable distance from the lower part of the dashboard.

Also high on my checklist, due to the fluidic and low-slung exterior, was visibility. I checked for unusually high dashboard reflections on the windshield and thankfully found nothing alarming. Forward visibility was clear, but I had to get used to the long dashboard and thick falling A-Pillar. The high beltline that slopes upward and the sleek windows don’t limit side visibility, and the diagonal-rear visibility is just about adequate. On the other hand, rear visibility was restricted due to the car’s design, but thankfully, the digital rearview mirror takes care of this blind spot.

My favorite part of the interior is the dashboard, featuring metallic trim and subdued ambient lighting, creating an inviting space. The cockpit reminded me of the bZ4X, exuding a feeling of sitting in a futuristic car. I love the balance of analog controls for core functions; they are placed within reach and feel tactile to operate.

The quality of trim and plastic is good given the car’s price, while fit could be better in some places in the dashboard. While I felt hard plastic in most places, the padded armrests, patterned bronze trim piece on the dashboard, jewel-like cabin light, and gloss black on the center console add visual interest and texture to the space.

Getting into the back of the Prius, I had to be cautious due to the quickly tapering roof. Without careful maneuvering, there’s a risk of bumping your head on the door seal if you are tall. Once inside, my head was again in close contact with the headliner, which could potentially feel claustrophobic during long trips, not helped by the small windows. With the driver’s seat adjusted to my height, I found that the knee room was still adequate. Additionally, the rear bench isn’t designed to comfortably accommodate three adults of my size.

2024 Toyota Prius cargo area
If ample cargo space is a priority, you would want to consider either the Corolla Cross or the RAV4 Hybrid. The cargo area on the 2024 Prius offers easy access. The Prius LE comes with 23.8 cubic-feet of space, while the XLE and Limited trims offer 20.3 cubic-feet.

Driving Impressions

The fifth-gen Toyota Prius clubs a 2.0-liter gas engine with an electric motor, a combination that results in 194 hp, all of which is directed to the front wheels. An AWD drivetrain option is available, enabled by a second, rear-mounted electric motor, which additionally raises the system horsepower to 196 hp. The 2024 Prius delivers an EPA-est. combined fuel economy of up to 57 MPG (FWD)/54 MPG (AWD), which is impressive!

A common opinion from automotive journalists who have driven the fifth-gen Prius is that it’s quite fun to drive. The transition from electric to gas is swift, and reaching highway speeds doesn’t require using all the travel of the accelerator pedal. There’s sufficient grip going into and turning out of corners in speed, and overall, the fifth-gen Prius feels surprisingly lively.

2024 Toyota Prius rear
The new Prius is quick, fuel-efficient, and now more engaging to drive. It, however, gets a little noisy under hard acceleration.

The change from regenerative braking to friction braking isn’t perceptible, which makes the fifth-gen Prius even more confidence-inspiring. The ride quality is good, too, even when on the top-spec 19-inch wheels. While there are minor issues, such as road noise and engine droning, they are generally within tolerable levels.

Price

The 2024 Toyota Prius’ prices start at USD 27,950 and go up to USD 36,365, excluding a USD 1,095 DPH fee.

TopElectricSUV says

The 2024 Toyota Prius impresses with its sporty design, sophisticated interior that exceeds expectations for its class, and excellent fuel efficiency. Admittedly, it’s tight on space, but for those who can overlook this aspect, it offers great value for money and is a refreshingly new flavor in the compact segment.

2024 Toyota Prius FAQs

What is the 2024 Toyota Prius release date?

The 2024 Toyota Prius has arrived at U.S. dealerships.

What is the 2024 Toyota Prius price?

The 2024 Toyota Prius’ prices start at USD 27,950 (excl. USD 1,095 DPH fee).

Which cars are 2024 Toyota Prius rivals?

The 2024 Toyota Prius competes with the 2024 Hyundai Elantra Hybrid.